At Sunshine Orthodontist, Dr. Mansour and our staff have found that patients who like their smiles have better self-esteem. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, when women are asked about what they’d most like to change about themselves, surprisingly they point to their smile.
The American Association of Orthodontics estimates that 4.5 million Americans wear braces or other orthodontic equipment to straighten their teeth and to get a healthier mouth. One in five of those braces wearers are women. The organization’s statistics also show that about 75 percent of the population doesn’t have straight teeth, and those people would benefit from getting braces.
While the main benefit of braces is straight teeth, and to improve the look of your smile, there are other benefits that make braces even more useful, including:
- Straighter teeth help people chew better.
- Straighter teeth give people a proper bite.
- People speak better when they have straighter teeth.
- When people have straight teeth, they have better overall gum and mouth health. A healthier mouth means flossing and brushing are easier, and that means your entire mouth stays healthy.
- A healthy mouth is also linked to a healthy body.
It is challenging to brush your teeth when you have orthodontic braces. Here are some tips that will help you keep your teeth clean so that they will look even more amazing when the braces come off.
1) Always use a soft toothbrush. The most important place to keep clean while your braces are on is between the braces and the gums.
2) Brush using only a wet toothbrush, no toothpaste at first to see what you are doing after you remove all the food and plaque, you can apply toothpaste and brush.
3) None of that one, two, three nonsense. Time yourself and spend at least two FULL minutes brushing your teeth. You should spend at least 30 seconds on your upper right side, 30 seconds on your upper left side, 30 seconds on your lower left side, and finally 30 seconds on your lower right side. You might think that you do this already, but most patients who time themselves find that they are brushing an average of only 30 seconds for their entire mouth!
4) When you are done brushing in the morning, feel free to rinse your mouth with water to remove the foam left after brushing with your toothpaste. Research has shown that the teeth receive just as much fluoride following this procedure by leaving the foam on the teeth as they do when you apply an expensive fluoride.
Lastly, you can achieve excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces using an affordable toothbrush; electric toothbrushes are wonderful and do a good job supplementing the movements of the toothbrush bristles over the teeth. Some brushes that vibrate have been shown to clean a little better than those that rotate.
We know it’s difficult to convince your child that getting braces is something to be excited about. To them, it may be a different story. So, how do we go about getting our children on board with braces?
- Throw a pre-braces party. Once the braces are on, your child knows they will not be allowed to eat certain foods. So before the braces get put on, allow them to indulge before the time of application. It’s an easy way to get excitement stirred up and the wait to get the braces over to indulge again will be just as endearing.
- Let your kids know that this is a way to give them that beautiful smile they see in adults and older children. Let them be aware that braces aren’t forever, but their smiles are.
- If your children are worried about getting picked on because of braces, tell them about some celebrities who have worn them such as Cameron Diaz, Kelly Clarkson, Dakota Fanning, and Gwen Stefani.
- It is important to emphasize that braces today aren’t the same as they were for you growing up. From clear ceramic braces to different-colored braces, more options are available. Braces can be cool accessories.
- Sometimes we have to point out how crooked our teeth are because we never got braces…this will encourage your children to want to have their teeth perfect and straight.
The stereotypical braces wearer – in middle school, with a mouth full of metal brackets – has led to children being discouraged about wearing braces. Dr. Mansour and our staff here at Sunshine Orthodontists would like to put some of these myths to rest and help your child get the proper care they need for that perfect smile!
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for everyone — but when you’re having orthodontic treatment, it’s even MORE critical. Why? While having any appliances on your teeth they can trap food particles easily. Keeping your teeth clean is a little bit harder …but don’t worry you can still do it!
Here’s a few reasons why good oral hygiene is so very important during any orthodontic treatment, and some tips on how you can keep up with it.
The major enemy= plaque. Food that gets trapped near the surfaces can lead to the start of plaque — a thin coating of microorganisms and organic debris which potentially contains harmful bacteria to the teeth. Braces or other orthodontic applications make it harder to remove this. The bacteria in plaque digest the sugars in food, causing the acids to erode the teeth and gun areas….yuck!
Not too worry, all you have to do is keep the plaque under control So how do we do this? First and most importantly diet, daily maintenance, and regular care.
- Avoiding foods that could increase your risk of developing tooth decay
- Cutting down or eliminating foods with an excess of sugar (soda, sweets, ice cream. toffee, gum, licorice and caramels)
- Foods that are very hard or sticky can cause damage to orthodontic appliances. (hard candies, nuts, beef jerky, hard pizza crust)
- Keep eating healthy foods but cut them into bite-sized pieces first!
- Rule of thumb brushing and flossing are for keeping a healthy smile
- Use a soft-bristle or a bi-level toothbrush (one with longer bristles on the edges and shorter ones in the middle) can help plaque removal — even with braces.
- For hard-to-clean areas, an interdental brush, or proxabrush. The small bristles of this can get in between wires, brackets and teeth
- Flossing, flossing, flossing. Yes we all know the hardest part but you should floss at least once a day during orthodontic treatment. We all know it’s a little harder to do with braces, there are some special products available — including floss threaders and particular kinds of floss — that can help you get the floss between wires and gum line. Our staff will review proper brushing and flossing techniques with you when your braces are put on — but if you ever have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
- Other orthodontic appliances- brushed daily, the same way you brush your teeth.
- The use of a water flosser is a great tool while in treatment (much easier than flossing)
Over 60 studies have definitively shown that the Water Flosser can reverse gingivitis, reduce gingival bleeding, remove plaque, and improve the host response to enhance healing and improve oral health.
- It’s still important to see your regular dentist while getting orthodontic treatment
- The dentist will make sure your teeth stay healthy with thorough examinations, cleanings and care.